Former federal prosecutor Norm Eisen on Wednesday morning shut down arguments made by CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin that ex-President Donald Trump did not commit any crimes when he asked Republican officials to rig the 2020 election for him or when he incited an insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6th.
“It’s totally wrong! Right now, we live in a system where Donald Trump tested our most fundamental legal precept, ‘no one is above the law.’ If the attorney general discovers evidence that Donald Trump did wrong, of course, he should be investigated and prosecuted. And Brianna contrary to Jeff, there is already substantial evidence to predicate an investigation, to open an investigation. When you have a president who says to the Georgia secretary of state, ‘Just find 11,780 votes’ or says to his own acting attorney general, ‘Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me.’ Those are the statements of someone who knows that he did wrong,” Eisen explained to New Day host Brianna Keilar.
“What’s the crime, Norm?” Toobin interjected.
“Jeff, it’s election, potentially, all I’m arguing is that, of course, the attorney general should investigate it, and when you say there’s little reason to even open a criminal investigation, that’s wrong. The potential crimes? Election fraud, obstruction of an official proceeding, a conspiracy to defraud the United States, and on and on and on. It must be investigated, Jeff. It must be investigated,” said Eisen.
Toobin disagreed, stating that because Trump committed sedition out in the open, he should get a pass.
“All those statutes you mentioned – the election fraud, conspiracy to defraud, obstruction of justice – they have a specific intent requirement. They have requirements that say you have to prove that the defendant intended to violate the law, intended to do wrong. What’s the evidence that Don – you know, usually when you prosecute someone specific intent crime, you have to show that they lied about what they do. What they did. They covered it up. What Donald Trump did was in plain sight,” said Toobin. “And for better or worse, every indication is that he actually believes that there was fraud in this investigation. So telling people to investigate fraud does not appear to me to be evidence of a crime.”
Eisen was aghast.
“Seriously, Jeff?” he said.
“Do you think his speech on January 6th where he said ‘Let’s march to the Capitol, let’s be strong,’ do you think that’s a crime he should go to jail for?” Toobin asked.
Eisen was in utter disbelief.
“Seriously, Jeff? Now you want us to believe that Donald Trump was speaking the truth? You wrote in our op-ed that trump would assert he was seeking to uphold the law and we’re supposed to believe him. Jeff, this was a person who lied 30,000 times! We’re not going to believe him for the first time now and I think it’s equally plausible and more than plausible enough for the attorney general to open an investigation that when Donald Trump says to the Georgia secretary of state, ‘Just find 11,780 votes corrupt,’ or when he says, ‘Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me.’ He knew that there was no basis. Look at the ridiculous grounds for his claim. He knew there was no basis. He’s a serial liar! Of course, we shouldn’t believe that,” Eisen said.
“And cut off – and Jeff – cut off an investigation? How can you say there’s little reason to investigate? The attorney general must investigate this. and, Jeff, to your point about the law, we prosecute this kind of thing all the time. A government official in United States versus Demuro last year in Philly was charged with adding ballots to increase the vote totals for candidates and certifying the fraudulent tallies. That’s election fraud! Donald Trump should be investigated,” he added.
“Of course he was prosecuted. Let me talk for a second,” Toobin pled.
Watch below via Crooks and Liars:
What's Your Reaction?
Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.